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The best iPhone SE 2020 cases

best iPhone SE 2020 cases
(Image credit: Otter)

The best iPhone SE 2020 cases are essential purchases for anyone rocking Apple's entry-level iPhone. There are man ways a phone can get damaged in the real world, and given how insanely good value the latest iPhone SE is, you want to keep it going for as long as possible.

After all where else can you get the power of the A13 Bionic chipset, a 12-megapixel camera, water resistance, and wireless charging for under $400? Thankfully you are spoiled for choice where cases are concerned, because pretty much every accessory maker stocks them. So whatever tastes or needs you have, there's something for you. And these ones are the best iPhone SE 2020 cases you can buy right now.

What are the best iPhone SE 2020 cases? (Updated July 14)

There's no single best iPhone SE case, because each user is going to be looking for something different. That said, some cases rise to the forefront as good all-around options for most people. Whether you're more interested in ruggedness and protection, or keeping things in line with your own aesthetic tastes.

Better still you don't even need to go out and buy a dedicated iPhone SE case, because it shares the exact same dimensions of the iPhone 8 (and the iPhone 7 before that), So you can use the same old cases that fit those devices on Apple's latest budget iPhone. In fact, many case makers are merely reselling their old models with a new label as a result of this. 

Still, this is great news for customers, because it means you can save some cash by opting for an older iPhone case that's already been discounted after sitting on the shelves for a few years.

The best iPhone SE 2020 cases you can buy today

Best iPhone SE 2020 cases: Apple Leather Case

(Image credit: Apple)

1. Apple iPhone SE Leather Case

The best premium leather case for iPhone SE

Specifications
Materials: Leather with microfiber lining
Color options: Black, Midnight Blue, Red
Wireless charging compatibility: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Apple-quality fit and finish+Colors complement iPhone SE well
Reasons to avoid
-Will age over time, as leather cases do-Not the cheapest

Apple offers two cases for the iPhone SE: A silicone case, which costs $35, and the leather option you see here, which only costs $10 more if you go to the right place. Apple's silicone cases always look nice when you get them, though they're also prone to wearing down very fast, with the soft-touch outer layer becoming gradually stickier over time before chipping off in frequently-touched areas. That was my experience when I had the same case for my iPhone 7 a few years back, and a cursory browsing of Reddit demonstrates I wasn't not alone.

For that reason, we'd much rather recommend Apple's leather case, which is more durable than the silicone version, and looks and feels better, too. For the iPhone SE, the official leather case comes in Black, Midnight Blue and Red, with aluminum-accented buttons over the volume and power keys color matched to the leather, and an embossed Apple logo on the back that looks super classy. And at $45, it's actually reasonably priced as far as leather cases go, making this one of the best iPhone SE cases for a mix of style and substance.

Best iPhone SE 2020 cases: Tech21 Impact Clear

(Image credit: Tech21)

2. Tech21 Pure Clear for iPhone 8/SE

A strong yet clear case for iPhone SE

Specifications
Materials: Hard plastic with TPU sides
Color options: Clear
Wireless charging compatibility: Yes
Reasons to buy
+6.6 feet of drop protection without adding much bulk+Attractive design+Anti-yellowing finish
Reasons to avoid
-Back texture susceptible to scratches

This one may seem like cheating, but iPhone 8 cases do indeed fit the iPhone SE, because both models share exactly the same dimensions. That means we can revisit one of our popular selections for the iPhone 8 — Tech21's Pure Clear — which grants 6.6 feet of drop protection to Apple's handsets for almost no added bulk beyond a no-frills TPU case.

Tech21's design sense really shines on the Pure Clear, which melds translucent air pocket-lined sides with a totally transparent back, for a very sleek and minimalist look. That plastic back can be susceptible to scratches, mind you, but you're unlikely to notice them unless you look closely. The Pure Clear normally costs around $30, which isn't the cheapest out there, though Tech21's cases tend to be pretty high quality — making this one of the more affordable options the company offers.

Best iPhone SE 2020 cases: Speck Presidio Pro

(Image credit: Speck)

3. Speck Presidio Pro for iPhone 8/SE

A sturdy and stylish case for iPhone SE

Specifications
Materials: Polycarbonate with shock-absorbing lining
Color options: Black, Coastal Blue, Filigree Grey, Meadow Pink
Wireless charging compatibility: Yes
Reasons to buy
+10 feet of drop protection+Anti-microbial finish+Heavily raised bezel for lay-on-front protection
Reasons to avoid
-A bit pricey

Speck has long been a trusted purveyor of solid yet fun-looking cases, and the company's latest Presidio Pro line is no different. The Presidio Pro is on the thicker side in terms of cases on this list, but that thickness contributes to an impressive 10 feet of drop protection — ensuring your iPhone SE will be safe, snug and secure should your handset take a tumble and land on its corners or back.

The Presidio Pro has also been treated with an anti-microbial finish, which is certainly relevant in this era of diligent hand-washing. It comes in four rather subdued colors, with tasteful two-tone accents as you've come to expect from Speck — though you'll pay a bit of a premium for that attention to detail.

Best iPhone SE 2020 cases: OtterBox Defender Pro

(Image credit: Otter)

4. OtterBox Defender Pro for iPhone SE

A super-durable iPhone SE case

Specifications
Materials: Polycarbonate shell with rubber slip cover
Color options: Dark Lake Blue, Purple Nebula
Wireless charging compatibility: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Extremely rugged+Built-in screen protection+Anti-microbial coating+Lightning port cover for total protection
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive 

If you want the last word in durability for your iPhone SE, look no further than OtterBox's popular Defender Pro. This case is truly as rugged as they come, with a dual-layer design that combines a rubber insert with a very thick polycarbonate outer shell, as well as a built-in screen protector, a cover for the Lightning port and fully-concealed buttons. It's even been coated in a material that repels germs.

Of course, you tend to pay a fair bit for all this protection — as much as $40 in some cases. But OtterBox's Defender series is among the most protective of cases you can buy for any phone, and if you're in a line of work where you're concerned about keeping your investment safe, this is one of the best iPhone SE cases you can buy.

Best iPhone SE 2020 cases: Spigen Case Slim Armor CS

(Image credit: Spigen)

5. Spigen Case Slim Armor CS for iPhone SE

A practical iPhone SE case for cheap

Specifications
Materials: TPU and hard plastic
Color options: Red, Gunmetal, Rose Gold, Black, Jet White, Blush Gold
Wireless charging compatibility: No
Reasons to buy
+Can store two credit cards+Comes in a variety of colors+Shock-absorbing corners
Reasons to avoid
-May not work with wireless chargers if credit cards are stored

A good wallet case is hard to come by, but Spigen has struck a nice balance with its Slim Armor CS case. This is basically Spigen's Liquid Air case, but a bit thicker with a hard plastic shell and compartment for up to two credit cards. If you haven't fully turned to Apple Pay yet, or perhaps if you have and only need to carry your ID or a keycard, the Slim Armor CS is a good solution.

Spigen's cases always fit well, with precise cutouts, clicky buttons and the company's trademark Air Cushion corners that are designed to absorb drops, despite adding minimal heft to the device. Normally costing $40, this is one of the pricier options Spigen offers — though Amazon has it for just $18 at the time of this writing, making for a good deal on one of the most useful iPhone SE cases out there.

Best iPhone SE 2020 cases: Smartish Kung Fu Grip

(Image credit: Smartish)

6. Smartish Kung Fu Grip Case for iPhone SE

A great all-around iPhone SE case for cheap

Specifications
Materials: TPU with textured sides
Color options: Black Onyx, Blue Jade
Wireless charging compatibility: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Very cheap+Super snug fit+Excellent grippy textxure
Reasons to avoid
-Limited color selection

Once known as the Silk Base Grip, this case from Smartish has long been a personal favorite. I have a Kung Fu Grip on my iPhone 11 Pro, and I love it. The texture of the sides feels super grippy, ensuring fewer drops; the buttons are very clickable; and the overall fit and finish is of a very high quality, which is impressive considering this case costs just $12. 

It's sturdy, too. Air pocket corners ensure that if your iPhone SE does take a tumble, it'll have the best chance of surviving. And while it's not the most slender case in the world, it doesn't add as much heft as some bulkier options on this list — making it a good middle ground for users who want the peace of mind of protection, but not at the expense of design and pocketability. We just wish Smartish offered it in more colors.

Best iPhone SE 2020 cases: Incipio Organicore

(Image credit: Incipio)

7. Incipio Organicore for iPhone SE

A great compostable case for iPhone SE

Specifications
Materials: Biodegradable polycarbonate
Color options: Black, Deep Pine Green, Oatmeal Beige
Wireless charging compatibility: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Made from plants and 100% biodegradable+Attractive, earthy look and good texture+6 feet of drop protection
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive 

Earlier this year, Incipio introduced its Organicore line of 100% compostable cases derived from plants. It wasn't the first accessory make to produce such a case, with Pela having made a name for itself delivering a similar pitch. However, it is the best we've found.

Incipio's Organicore line feels sturdy, with a pleasing texture to the touch that is soft, but not slippery or greasy. We also love the colors Incipio has settled upon, especially Deep Pine Green and Oatmeal Beige, which are speckled with neutral tones to convey a very fashionable earthy aesthetic. On the flip side, you will have to spend a lot for that kindness to the environment. The Organicore iPhone SE case can cost as much as $40, which is just $5 less than what Apple wants for its own leather case.

Best iPhone SE 2020 cases: Moment Thin Case

(Image credit: Moment)

8. Moment Thin Case for iPhone SE

A premium thin case for iPhone SE

Specifications
Materials: Biodegradable polycarbonate
Color options: Black
Wireless charging compatibility: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Fully compostable+Relatively thin yet supports Moment's lenses+Attractive texture
Reasons to avoid
-No color choices

Moment is a company that produces a line of camera lenses for popular smartphones, including Apple's iPhones. They also sell cases that allow you to quickly clip on or remove such lenses, which is handy. But truthfully, even if you don't see yourself using a Moment lens — or, perhaps, not yet — their cases are gorgeous in their own right.

Moment's Thin Case designed for the new iPhone SE may not have the same partial wood design as some cases the company offers for Apple's other flagships, but it's still a looker, thanks to a pattern of diagonally-etched lines across most of the backside. The only downside to this case is that it is a bit expensive, though we suppose that's the peace of mind you pay for so that your pricey camera lens doesn't fall off your new iPhone and shatter the perfect photo op.

Best iPhone SE 2020 cases: Spigen Thin Fit

(Image credit: Spigen)

9. Spigen Thin Fit for iPhone SE

A super-affordable thin case

Specifications
Materials: Hard plastic
Color options: Black, Jet Black, Rose Gold
Wireless charging compatibility: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Minimalist, super-thin design+Pleasing matte soft-touch finish on Black and Rose Gold variants+Built-in slot for magnetic car mount plates+Inexpensive
Reasons to avoid
-Not the most protective

Those who look for cheap yet well-made cases know Spigen very well. Spigen prides itself on offering excellent-feeling cases that typically cost a fraction of the price of what some other accessory makers charge, and its Thin Fit case for iPhone SE is a fine example of that.

The Thin Fit is a very simple hard plastic case, that leaves the iPhone SE's buttons, top and bottom exposed. Because it's more of a shell than a soft cushion, it's not likely to protect your iPhone much in the case of a drop. But some users prefer just having a very minimal protective layer wrapping around their handset to protect it from dings, scratches and scrapes, and the Thin Fit is suited well for that purpose. It's also very affordable, and like all Spigen products, regularly sees discounts on Amazon.

Best iPhone SE 2020 cases: Totallee Slim Case

(Image credit: Totalee)

10. Totallee Thin Case for iPhone SE

The thinnest soft case out there

Specifications
Materials: TPU
Color options: Frosted Clear, Frosted Black, Transparent
Wireless charging compatibility: Yes
Reasons to buy
+The thinnest case available+Attractive, minimalist design with no branding+Frosted matte finish repels fingerprints
Reasons to avoid
-No protection against drops-Pricey for what it is

If it's the absolute thinnest case you want, look no further than Totallee. This is a company renowned for offering the most slender cases around, at just 0.3 millimeters thick. That might seem too thin to actually be useful, yet Totallee's fans are typically looking for surface-layer protection alone, to keep their phone safe against scratches without sacrificing Apple's industrial design. This case achieves that.

Totallee's Thin Case comes in three colors: Frosted Clear, Frosted Black and Transparent. The last of the three is a bit thicker, at 0.5 millimeters, and has a glossier, more traditional TPU finish. So long as you're less concerned about drop protection, and can spare the rather steep $30+ price tag — which seems like a lot for a little, we'll admit — this could be the minimalist iPhone SE case you've been looking for.

tech21 anti microbial iphone se case

(Image credit: texh21)

11. tech21 Pure Clear case for iPhone SE

Protection from bumps and microbes

Specifications
Materials: TPU
Color options: Clear, Smokey/Black
Wireless charging compatible: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Anti-microbe coating+Works with wireless charging+Offers protection without excess bulk
Reasons to avoid
-Pricey

The pandemic has made us all painfully aware of how microbes can get on our hands, and how important it is to keep everything clean. tech21's Pure Clear case makes it that bit easier, with a built-in 'Bio Shield' that promises to reduce microbes by 99.9%, and gets to work in just 15 minutes. It's also built to last, and won't wear out too quickly.

On top of that tech21 also promises drop protection from up to 12 feet, thanks to a multi-layered design that can help dissipate energy away from the point of impact. Crucially this means that the case offers shock and drop protection without being too bulky, so you don't over encumber your phone with a thick, heavy case.

Adam Ismail is a staff writer at Jalopnik and previously worked on Tom's Guide covering smartphones, car tech and gaming. His love for all things mobile began with the original Motorola Droid; since then he’s owned a variety of Android and iOS-powered handsets, refusing to stay loyal to one platform. His work has also appeared on Digital Trends and GTPlanet. When he’s not fiddling with the latest devices, he’s at an indie pop show, recording a podcast or playing Sega Dreamcast.